Is music only auditory? This day and age it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the music industry benefits greatly from design, and vice versa. The visual aspects of an artist’s career are included in album covers and on their websites, and music companies are more in need of good designers.
Music and design is an appealing combo. The creativity that exists in both fields can go hand-in-hand, and it’s important to understand how the dynamics between a designer and the music should meld. A designer creating an album cover for an artist needs to be familiar with the music on the album. The label needs to see a web designer’s portfolio to match the designer’s style with the aesthetic of the artist.
Design can also be crucial in most cases, and it’s exemplified in modern radio. My personal experience as a radio DJ has helped me realize that a radio station (both terrestrial and online) needs quality web content. Streaming radio online is increasingly popular, so a radio station’s website needs proper streaming capabilities. When a listener visits the station’s website to stream or to find information, it’s also important that the website is easy to navigate and doesn’t look outdated. The website can be the listener’s first impression of the radio station, so it should initially intrigue the listener visually.
Similarly, the album art of an artist’s work can be the first attribute that’s judged by a listener. The album art is also now part of an artist’s online brand, and digital streaming adds another space for album art to exist. A listener can often assume that the album art conveys the mood of the music, or maybe it’s a way to assess the age of the music. When I listen to an album I know and love, I’m almost always visualizing the album art in my head. It something that sticks with you, an image that can take you back to a moment in time. Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” “The Velvet Underground and Nico” with the iconic Andy Warhol painting; these designs will stay with you forever.